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St Mary, Offton, Suffolk

(52°6′22″N, 1°0′55″E)
TM 066 496
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

Offton is some 7 miles NW of Ipswich in the centre of Suffolk. The village stands on the rising ground on the S bank of a stream that rises near Great Bricett and joins the river Gipping at Bramford, W of Ipswich. The village is compact, and the church stands at the NE end of the centre, with a moated site 0.3 m to the S. St Mary's has a nave, chancel and W tower. The nave has a plain 12thc. S doorway, now protected by an attractive 14thc. timber porch. The 14thc. N doorway now serves as the entrance from the church to a 20thc. vestry and lavatory block. The present nave windows are all 14th -15thc. The chancel has a 13thc. lancet in its N wall, otherwise the windows are 14th -15thc. There is no chancel arch, and the chancel and nave widths are the same, although the chancel roof is lower. The tower is plain 14thc. work with a battlemented parapet embellished with flushwork. Otherwise the church is mortar rendered except for the knapped flint E chancel wall and buttresses. The only Romanesque sculpture is on the S nave doorway.


According to the Domesday Survey the king held 50 acres in Offton, and two free men from him. There was a church with 16 acres of land. Another holding of 2 carucates of ploughland with an acre of meadow and a church with 16 acres (conceivably the same church) was held by Hugh de Houdain from Roger Bigod. This had been held by Leofcild, a free man commended to Stigand, before the Conquest. 20 acres were held by William from Roger d’Auberville. This parcel had been held by Waldwin, a free man commended to Leofric son of Hobba before the Conquest. Finally there was a manor of 100 acres, held by Sigeric before the Conquest and by Isaac in 1086. A church with 7½ acres was recorded here. In 1086, then, there were at least two churches hereabouts, and possibly three. The manor was held, like Elmsett, by the Bohuns in the 14thc., but had passed to the Glanvilles by the 17thc. In the will of Rev. Richard Glanville, proved in 1668, his manors of Elmsett, Offton and Somersham are bequeathed to his eldest son, also Richard.

Benefice of Somersham with Flowton and Offton with Willisham.


Exterior Features



The plain S doorway belongs to the last quarter of the 12thc.

H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 300.
D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 2 Central Suffolk. Cambridge 1990, 178.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 382.